Tyler Goes Country: What Could Go Wrong?
By Dendy Jarrett |
Proof that true talent prevails
by Dendy Jarrett
When I first heard that Steven Tyler made a home in Nashville and had signed to the Dot Records label (part of the Big Machine Label Group—home to the likes of Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift), I was a skeptic. I mean, how could Mr. Tyler walk this way? It seemed he was livin’ on the edge and should just dream on…crazy!
Seriously, how could a music icon who has spent decades as a rock god turn country? It seemed like a notion that was doomed to fail from the start. So my knee jerk reaction was “What could go wrong”?
Well, the first single Love Is Your Name was just released along with the video, and I have to say: much to my amazement, they figured out how not to make it go wrong.
I’m not a country “lover” per se…yes, I’ve played and toured as a country drummer, but country isn’t a genre I listen to on a daily (or even weekly) basis. But, I really do like this song. The video shows Tyler’s fun-loving spirit and as he stated in a recent press release, this song took him back home to when he grew up with a pet raccoon and a sling shot.
I also assume that Steven Tyler must be doing this for fun, because it’s highly probable he doesn’t need the money. And, importantly, Tyler stays true to himself—he still looks just like he would in any Aerosmith video. There’s no pretense here.
If this first release represents what the rest of the album will be like, I’d say look out. Steven Tyler may have just amazingly recreated himself and established a strong foothold in yet another genre of music.
I have two takeaways from this. First, that true talent prevails. But perhaps more importantly, you have to be true to yourself. I think if Steven Tyler had talked to an army of focus groups, they would have been horrified at the idea of his doing country. Fortunately, it seems like Steven Tyler listened to the only focus group that mattered—Steven Tyler.
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.